According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual report on workplace fatalities, 4,547 people died on the job in 2010. Although this number is slightly lower than 2009, the rate of fatal injury across all occupations is still 3.5 per 100,000 workers!
Occupations with the highest rate of fatal work injuries (deaths per 100,000 workers) are as follows:
- Fishers and related fishing workers: 116
- Logging workers: 91.9
- Aircraft pilots and flight engineers: 70.6
- Farmers and ranchers: 41.4
- Mining machine operators: 38.7
- Roofers: 32.4
- Refuse and recyclable materials collectors: 29.8
- Driver/sales workers and truck drivers: 21.8
- Industrial machinery installation, repair and maintenance workers: 20.3
- Police and sheriff’s officers: 18.0
Some industries are clearly much more dangerous than others, but regardless of what industry you’re in, employers are required by law to provide their employees with a safe work environment. Even one accident in your place of employment can be a violation of OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) standards.
So how does an employer stay up to date with all of the requirements under the OSHA standards? What if the standards require employee training in a specific language and environment? The answer is simple: hire cost-effective and highly knowledgeable professionals—people that do this all the time! Many professional employer organizations (PEOs) allow you to outsource the OSHA compliance issues AND liabilities. PEOs are familiar with the specific OSHA standards, and are great at communicating, reducing risk, and staying up to date with compliance. They can even perform inspections to make sure business is being conducted safely at all times.
You certainly want to select a PEO that is most qualified for your organization’s specific needs, and has a strong background and experience. Even if safety training is in accordance with the OSHA standards, it needs to be delivered in a manner that employees can understand. For example, classes may need to be conducted in a language other than English for employees who speak limited English. If an employee is illiterate, it is a violation of OSHA standards to send the employee home to read the safety procedures or operators manual if they are going to have someone else read it to them.
OSHA is going to check safety and training records, and will even ask employees about specific information covered pertaining to their job. It is important to make sure training is conducted professionally and will pass an inspection. Protecting your employees, and protecting your business, is a lot easier with a PEO. To learn more about qualified PEOs in your area, contact us.